Winery Tour ’17 – Review Villa Maria 19/02/2017

Winery Tour ’17 – Review Villa Maria 19/02/2017

I couldn’t help but think if Brooke Fraser had a word with the ‘man upstairs’ as the day’s fickle weather gave way to a magnificent hot , sunny backdrop to this year’s 10th Anniversary Winery Tour.

The unpredictable outburst not seen since MP Marian Hobbs’s famous spoonerism calling Bic, “Ric Bunga” transformed into a lovely evening, a celebration as people on blankets supped and wined (it’s a winery after all) while dancers frolicked to the live music on display, it reminded me of the opening sequence of the Teletubbies.

Benny Tipene, a seasoned veteran of the Winery Tour cajoled the crowd, most of them happy to see the sun as he entertained with his pop sensibility including hits Lanterns, Walking on Water & his 2014 hit song Make You Mine, eventually he succumbed to the sweltering sun as he took a break in between guitar changes.

As the svelte figure of Bic appeared so did the crowd, it was a real pleasure hearing this lady sing live for the first time. I was totally enthralled, hits like Drive & Sway passionately belted out as if caught in the ‘pleasure-dome’ not wanting it to finish.

She was all style & grace as partner Kody Nielson went ape-shit on drums while bassist Michael Logie on bass laid down the groove foundation. No sign of a Mint Chicks song, however they did pull a stellar (no pun intended) version of “doomed romantic” Nick Drake’s Things Behind The Sun – stunning.

The night carried on, as the cool Auckland air made its way into the winery beckoning Brooke Fraser & co onto the stage. Commenting on the weather she rarely left her microphone, her songs rang into the night sky as the crowd rallied around in support, her newish baby bump proudly on display.

“I’m always surprised at how well this song has done” as she played Albertine, then a stirring rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence with guitarist Tom Healy on vocals was the nights highlight as she commented, “This is a song I wrote when I was eighteen, a couple of years ago,” she joked, ending with Arithmetic.

All three are talented artists in their own right; they have their own brand of personality watermarked on their music. A musical ‘smorgasbord’ that if you had a chance to pull together would more or less be the band you’d have singing Crowded House’s Better Be Home Soon as finale – oh wait, that did happen

Nadia Reid Releases New Video ‘The Arrow and The Aim’

Nadia Reid Releases New Video ‘The Arrow and The Aim’

For a new artist, her confident grace is all the more remarkable”
Pitchfork

Fresh from a sold out run around the UK which culminated last night in an enraptured packed Hoxton Hall and just before she continues around Europe, Nadia Reid would like to share with you her new video for ‘The Arrow and The Aim’. Taken from her upcoming album Preservation, released this March on Spunk Records.

Shot in Mt Somers, just outside of Christchurch in New Zealand, starring Chris Parker and directed by Julian Vares in an abandoned house surrounded by stunning landscapes. “I guess there’s a lot left to the imagination with the video. I like that. The song is about reaching the very end of a relationship.” reveals Reid.

Watch ‘The Arrow and The Aim’: https://youtu.be/FQVsFzYSHd8

An ode to self-reflection and self-betterment, Preservation is the sound of Nadia showing her true colours, taking back a bit of power, and learning more about herself. Deeply intellectual but felt by all, it punches harder than before. Nadia’s beautifully warm vocals coolly wrap around feelings of turbulence, and exude a gently improved confidence. “This record is about being OK with who I am in the world, and who I want to be. Learning to live with the fact I’m a person who operates differently to others,” admits Nadia. “I’m richer for the fact I am a musician. Without this way of being, I couldn’t write songs.”

Returning to the production skills of Ben Edwards in his Sitting Room studios in Christchurch and long term guitarist Sam Taylor, this time around everything is rubbed in more grit and channels Nadia’s deftly profound take on life and whilst we already knew it, her own realisation that it is music which drives her. “I remember recording the tracks, it was about 11 at night, and I felt almost transcendental, as if I was out of my body, singing these words to myself. That’s what these songs are; a confession to my future and past self.”

Pre-order Preservation on iTunes: http://hyperurl.co/xp71pn
CD & LP: bit.ly/2fFqWnT

Nadia will be coming home for a full NZ Tour at the end of March

Jet’s Chris Cester Talks Iggy, Springsteen & Being Back Together Again

Jet’s Chris Cester Talks Iggy, Springsteen & Being Back Together Again

Australia has its fair share of mega rock bands.  Steeped in Ozzie rock-folklore, groups like ACDC, LRB & Cold Chisel are well known the world over, you could probably also add rockers Jet to that ever-burgeoning list.

“I’ve never met Donald Trump,” says drummer Chris Cester, prompted by my question about ‘Life in America’.  “I remember shaking Bill Gates hand and thinking it was the worst hand shake maybe ever, you would think a guy like Bill Gates would have a pretty stand up handshake, but it was like a dead fish.”

With hits like Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Cold Hard Bitch & She’s A Genius, the Melbourne group, have had considerable international success and now says drummer Chris Cester, have announced they will be reforming with “All the dudes.”.  The band are supporting the ‘Boss’ Bruce Springsteen on the opening leg of his word tour; good news for Kiwi fans, stopping here next week in Auckland & Christchurch.

“We’ve been getting offers, our last show was in 2010,” says Cester.  “I suppose we had to have an offer that was exciting enough to make us want to do it, then we had this opportunity to get together and play with ‘The Boss’, I think it was an offer we couldn’t refuse, you know?

“We added a Sydney show reunion, it would probably scare the shit out of Nic (laughter).  I don’t want to speak for him, but, I think that’s the part of it that became really difficult in the end, it was just the constant cycle and not quite feeling you had any control over it. Now everyone’s excited again.  Playing with Bruce Springsteen I think, is something we can all agree is a pretty fun thing to do.”

Jet was started by Melbournian brothers Nic & Chris Cester, they were influenced by early Aussie band You Am I, got together with mates Cameron Muncey and Doug Armstrong in 2001.  The group wanted a name that “when it showed up on festival advertisements, it would be large and bold in print.”

“Playing live, that’s the thing I miss the most.” He ponders.   “I’ve been arguably more creative in the last six years than when I was in the last couple of years with Jet; that creative side is quote “full”.  Playing live, is something that once you’ve done it at a certain level, it’s an addiction. It’s exciting, that’s the bit I’ve missed.

“My favourite song to play live is probably Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, I just love the explosive nature of it. It’s just four on the floor, there’s nothing more fun than just hammering it out, just driving it home, ‘four on the floor’ style.”

One of their biggest singles Are You Gonna Be My Girl has been compared to Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, its use of the same chords is about the only parallel drawn to tune, the rest unfairly grounded.  Actually, Cester fondly recalls the time him and the band famously, once met Mr Jimmy Osterberg aka Iggy Pop.

“The Iggy Pop thing is a good place to start.” He laughs.  “He’s a really surprising character, I didn’t expect to find somebody so eloquent with such a fantastic memory. He told us some great stories and his memory was incredible. He was remembering people’s names at our record label from the 70s, that was a surprise because the things we knew about him, before we met, were just the drugs and the mad days like driving his car off a canyon into a house.  He wasn’t what I was expecting that’s for sure.

“We did three takes of the Wild One and on the second take he took his shirt off – At lunch time he said “I’m hungry, let’s get a sandwich” he took us to this great Cuban Sandwich shop, he lives in Florida in Miami and he said “Who’s coming with me?” so I put my hand up and Nic.  We got into his Maserati and there was a good portion of the trip where he’s driving in the incoming traffic lane and he’s looking over at me talking, and I was thinking “Jesus Christ, look straight ahead!”

One of their biggest hits Look What You’ve Done was grinded out in “five minutes.”  “My brother wrote that song,” adds Chris.  “To be honest, I couldn’t tell you what it’s about, I never asked him. You just made me realise, I have no idea what one of our biggest songs is about. (laughter)

“I know, that he thought it in his head first, then it all came out really quick. I find that’s how the best songs happen, just really quickly.  They’re the ones you don’t fuss over or sit around and tweak for a month – otherwise they get complicated and lose the original message.”

Cester has been busy.  He’s lived in L.A for thirteen years, a city he says “It’s a transient place, no one who lives here, is from here.”, a true Aussie, Cester is never too far from getting his ‘footie’ fix, saying “We’re all Melbourne boys, so we follow The Magpies AFL.  I watch them every day, most weekends.”

He had a band project called Damndogs while the group were on hiatus with Jet’s bassist Mark Wilson and touring keyboardist, Louis Macklin.

“I stopped doing that when our bass player Mark Wilson left, Louis and I continued together but we changed, we have a new project now its called Mystic Knights of Amnesia,” the band name supposedly penned by Oasis’s Noel Gallagher and texted to Cester.

“It’s off the wall it sounds nothing like Jet, its more in a psychedelic realm you could say, but it’s so melodic, think ‘Bee-Gees Psychedelic disco’.  I never really figured out what it looks like because the two of us, Louie and I, are writing all the music and I sing, also, we haven’t released anything, we haven’t worked out how the show would work.”

Cester is reflective, recounting the ‘golden days’ when the band were in a ‘healthier’ state citing “We don’t really talk about old things, and I think that’s probably been the key factor, getting it to the point where we actually want to go on tour together again.” It’s that ‘key’ that has opened up a new life not only for the band but also for their fans.

“Well, a couple of us have kids now, so that definitely changes things. We spent enough time apart now to where any old feelings or past disputes amongst us have been buried over time. We don’t really speak much anymore.  When I speak to my brother we have an ‘unspoken rule’ where we don’t talk about music very often, and if we do, it’s to talk about our music projects that we’ve been working on.”

As well as being a drummer, Cester also has song writing credits on songs like Shine On & Bring It on Back, his collaborative approach offset by his strong penchant to writing ballads like Timothy, the expectation for album number two Shine On, had an enormous task to match the success of their debut album Get Born.

I think that everybody is really proud of that record because it was a really difficult one to make,” says Cester.  “Obviously with dad dying so young, that being such a huge shock to everybody – nobody saw that coming. At the same time, there was a lot of pressure on the band from the label because the first record had been so successful and at the time, everyone was saying the music business “Was done” and” It was impossible to have big records and make money” and yet when I look back at it and compare it with the music business now, it’s like a thousand times worse.

“It actually makes me feel like those were the good old days.  I remember the time there was a lot of pressure and I think our label Atlantic in particular were having a rough go, and I think there was an unspoken expectation that the record was going to save everybody.  It didn’t sell as much as Get Born but it still did really well, I think it’s a better record personally.”

Theatrical Release Dates Set For Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D

Theatrical Release Dates Set For Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D

August 24th 2017 Kiwis will see James Cameron’s epic action, sci-fi masterpiece starring Schwarzenegger in his most iconic role, been converted in immersive 3D by Cameron himself. First hitting our screens in 1991 with groundbreaking special effects, the 3D version will take the seminal blockbuster to the next level of effects and into the 21st century for the next generation of fans.

Panic! At The Disco – Concert Review “hitting the right chord.” Wal Reid

Panic! At The Disco – Concert Review “hitting the right chord.” Wal Reid

Date / Venue: Thursday February 2nd, 2017 – Vector Arena, Auckland

Maybe it was the Panic! version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that aptly set the mood for the night? “Here’s one we didn’t write…Fuck it, we did.” singer Brendan Urie confessed, a dab hand on the piano also it seems. His falsetto would’ve garnished approval beyond the grave from Mr Mercury – surely?
It was as if the mostly ‘youngish’ audience were rediscovering a new rock dirge, while some of us OLD enough to remember Wayne’s World yanked the ‘air guitars’ out of retirement for the ‘Brian May’ bits.

This satisfied the pangs of having had to wait for the band to revisit our shores after a 10-year hiatus (which Urie addressed apologising). It was a festive night that had the Vector crowd rollicking, as the band played most of their new album Death Of A Bachelor.

“I want to personally thank every one of you for being here.” singer Brendan Urie implored as the band launched into Time to Dance, then transitioning into new-ish track Emperor’s New Clothes before the crowd barely had time to regain themselves, pulled space being overrun by out an energetic Blur-esque Girls/Girls/Boys.

The night was a short, sharp hit that left the crowd quietly stunned as Brendan Urie, now the only original member of the band cajoled the Kiwi crowd, “This is a song I wrote for Frank Sinatra.” as he exaggeratedly moved about the stage, ‘crooner’ stance fixed for the superb Death Of A Bachelor.
Urie’s voice for the most part was right on the money. His ability to vocally ‘shapeshift’ on songs while spewing forth lush cryptic lyrics was deftly executed – a consummate performer who’s onstage antics more than made up for his sparse, but poignant audience rapport.

The live sound was rapturous, spatially gratifying. “I met a girl once at a party who I thought I was in love with,” proceeded Urie. “She said to me “Cash me outside howbow dah?” (see Dr Phil) ..the social media irony hitting the right chord with the ‘youtubers’ as Miss Jackson was dealt to live on stage.

“This one’s about the good life.” Yelled Urie as they churned out Golden Days, while perennial favourite I Write Sins Not Tragedies was drily started with “Here’s a new one.”. This Is Gospel and first track from new album Victorious rounded off the encores, with a confetti cannon being shot over the audience, as sparkling PATD lights lit up the ceiling of Arena.

Tonight’s one-night-only concert originally sold out in less than 90 minutes when tickets went on sale last week – it’s wasn’t hard to see why.
Great night, wish they banned mobile phones hindering my viewing ability, you know, blocked by phones held up in the air – ok, now I SOUND like an oldie..oh well, ”Cash me outside..”

Patriots Day  – Movie Review 4/5 “Warrants a big screen viewing.” Wal Reid

Patriots Day – Movie Review 4/5 “Warrants a big screen viewing.” Wal Reid

How do you make a CNN news item into a full-length action slash drama movie? Easy, get director Peter Berg to throw his weight behind it. Seems like the Hollywood ‘regurgitator’ machine has reinvented itself from rehashing old 60s & 70s TV shows (Wtf Chips?) to hitting up yesterday’s world news headlines.

It’s been done with considerable effect with last year’s oil slick disaster biopic Deepwater Horizon, as Berg tandems up once again with favourite student, Wahlberg, who credibly (no, not really, but he plays a cop so well) is Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders. He’s the focal point of the film, getting to grips of the horrific 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

I was incredulously sceptical as to whether this might be a ‘made for television’ offering, however my allayed fears were put to rest with a steadfast cast comprising of Kevin Bacon as reluctant special FBI agent Richard DesLauriers & John Goodman who grinds out a solid performance as Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

The pace of the film, the character development plus the splicing in of real cctv footage is deserving of a serious watch, one I was totally not expecting (does anyone take Marky Mark serious?) It’s a film that subject-wise while serious warrants a big screen viewing.

I’m impressed by Berg’s anatomical manner handling the ‘prickly’ aspects of the film that quite easily may have seemed heavily prejudiced, avoiding the normal ‘terrorist’ inferences of late like James Watkins’s thriller Bastille Day.
Alex Wolff & Themo Melikidze steal the films best scenes as main terrorist suspects, the Tsarnaev brothers. Turning in the best performances of the movie, the tension between the two is deliciously played – right to the end. I loved the acting in Moonlight – however I enjoyed Patriots Day more as a movie.

If there was ever a film to give gravitas to Donald Trump’s extreme homeland security measures, this would be it. Political propaganda it isn’t, but in today’s ‘tense’ global climate the film highlights how tragedy can bring courage and strength, whilst not extinguishing the human spirit. It’s a very admirable ideal.

As JK Simmons eloquently puts it into perspective, “I need to fuckin’ quit smoking.”

End of story, go see it.

B*Witched – C’est la Vie. Interview with Keavy Lynch

B*Witched – C’est la Vie. Interview with Keavy Lynch

Remember nineties pop all-girl group B*Witched? I don’t care who you are, but if you don’t then you’re obviously lying, a malingerer of the highest order. I mean who doesn’t remember that annoying ditty of a tune C’est la Vie?

The Irish girl group are back, and in New Zealand. The line-up consisting of twin sisters Edele and Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, and Sinéad O’Carroll are the originals, which is no mean feat considering the reported ‘hardships’ endured throughout their pop reigning tenure.

When boy/girl bands were all the rage, the Irish quartet enjoyed considerable success in both Europe and North America between 1998 and 2000, releasing two albums and eight singles, all of which made the UK Top 20.

Singer Keavy Lynch is in high spirits as we talk. “I’m in London.” She says down the phone from the other side of the world. “Yeah, I came here in ’98 and it just became my home and so I never left.”

“I’m not sure what you’ve heard, some of it is true some of it wasn’t. Actually Sinéad & Edele were kind of the main starters of the band, they both wanted to perform and then they brought it to me and said “Would you like to do it?”, I was like “Yeah, sure.”

I ask her if she has been to New Zealand before, it’s a question that is quickly answered back.
“Definitely.” She says adamantly. “I have to say particularly in New Zealand, the people are close to Irish people in terms of their manner and how friendly they are. We felt very welcome in New Zealand. We’ve visited in 1999 and we liked it, were excited to be coming back. We never actually got time to play last time so we’re really happy we can do it for you guys this time..”

Their first four singles, C’est la Vie, Rollercoaster, To You I Belong and Blame It on the Weatherman, all reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. In 2002, having sold over 3 million albums worldwide, she still recalls the day of finding the elusive ‘fourth’ member.

“We found Lindsay through an audition. We were looking for a fourth member and our friends told us about Lindsay, she came and played a song that she wrote herself, and then we watched her – it’s all very innocent.

“We watched her through the window at a dance class at a dance centre we all use to go to and we were like “Do you want to be in our band?” and she was like “oh sure.” And we were like “ok, we’ll see you in two weeks’ time.” It was all really, really innocent.” (laughter)

The group riding the curtails of the radio airwaves were dropped by their record company, and when O’Carroll decided to leave, the group split up. In 2006, the Lynch sisters formed a group, Ms. Lynch, frequently performing B*Witched material at live shows.

“I remember in the beginning, we did Lenny Kravitz It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over so we ended up sounding cooler than what we were.”

In 2012, it was announced that B*Witched would reunite for the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion, along with other pop groups of their time, including Liberty X, Five and Atomic Kitten.

Following the six groups as they reunited for the first time in a decade and rehearsed ahead of a comeback performance at the Hammersmith Apollo. Due to the success of the show and the high demand for tickets at the Hammersmith Apollo gig, the Big Reunion line-ups also embarked on an arena tour around the UK and Ireland, it’s something Lynch never dreamed would’ve happen.

“You know what? I don’t think we thought either way? We thought “We want to set up a band, so, why don’t we?” It was really weird, we never sat and talked “Do we think this is going to go, or not?”. So, when C’est La Vie was midweek number one we were actually genuinely really, really shocked. We were hoping for a top 20 so when the stations started playing us midweek they were saying “You’re going to number one.” We were going “yeah, yeah,” kind of brushing it off.
“Of course, they were telling the truth, we were actually number 1 midweek, it was really shocking it had exceeded anything we had dreamt for ourselves. The day we found out, we were on stage in South Hampton I believe, and they announced it onstage so we kind of celebrated immediately with a couple of performances for the fans which is kind of appropriate and very exciting.

“A week later our record company Sony, they threw a big lunch I think in Planet Hollywood and we had big cake, everybody was delighted and it was a really nice celebration. Our families were invited and I think they gave us a gift – what was the gift? I think it was a camcorder.”

All four members of B*Witched came from musical families and were accomplished musicians from young ages. The band deliberately cultivated a tomboy image and, in order to appeal to a younger audience, all of them accomplished dancers.

“I think Sinéad, Edele and I, had done a lot of dancing when we were younger and we did it professionally, gigs and stuff. Lindsay did dance class as well, so we were all able to dance – I guess that was part of our charm in the end, because they got a great choreographer in who did all of our dance moves, it was a huge part of who we were and what people liked about us also.

“Our chorographer would always say “Stop being so bouncy.” (laughter)

As I listen to her recount the halcyon days, I ask her how they managed to sing and dance at the same time. I mean, it would always amaze me how they could pull off not only the dancing but also vocals.

“I remember for our training, we use to run on the treadmill and sing at the same time.” She says. “When we were training this time around for the Big Reunion, I use to go and run up a really big hill and back down again singing a song. It’s really hard, and really good training for stamina.”

“You should try it sometime.” (laughter)

“Hmmm…” that was my response without sounding like an impertinent ass. I think I can do the front row fan boy thing, but singing while running up Mt Eden? That’s another thing.

Live By Night – Film Review. 3.5/5 “Visually Lavish” Glenn Blomfield.

Live By Night – Film Review. 3.5/5 “Visually Lavish” Glenn Blomfield.

Drama

Director: Ben Affleck, 128 minutes

Ben Affleck back in the Directors chair since the film Argo, also in the role of, Acting, Screenplay, and Producer. There is a stellar cast that joins him, to mention a few, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Chris Cooper. From the outset the films cinematography is stunning, production design sumptuous, the movie looks the bizzo. Adapted from a Novel by Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River) Affleck has directed a previous film adapted from a Lehane novel with great success in ‘Gone Baby Gone’.

Live By Night is set in the Prohibition era, a story of Ben Affleck’s lead character ‘Joe Coughlin’ Boston criminal, the son of a policeman, moving up into the gangster world, that leads him to Florida and the rum trade game. Of course the path traveled is a troubled one, with many psychological morals and hardships to confront. Morality is a theme that seems to play strong through the film, even if the path is a violent one, and rather immoral.

The film tries hard in its epic scope to cram a lot in, and it can feel a bit muddled, if not messy. There are stereotype Gangsters and Bosses, corruption with the law and the Klu Klux Klan throwing a spanner in the works with racial religious tensions. Love, betrayal, inter-racial relationships, violence, religion are all thrown in for good measure.

I found the moral questions, a struggling weight in the film; can we expect a good man out of such violence and corruption? and the question raised “Are we to live life the best we can, consequences in tow?” and “how are we to ‘repent’?.”

Maybe the film would prefer best as a 10 hour mini series covering all its ground with wider scope. All in all, there is a good film in here, you can be engaged, and it is visually lavish. Other critics reviews seem to be a lot more harsher on the film, which I feel is not fairly warranted. I do recommend Live By Night, Ben Affleck shows strength as a director, he’s up there with best.

Lion – Film Review 5/5 Yulia Podrul “Powerful”

Lion – Film Review 5/5 Yulia Podrul “Powerful”

Adopting somebody from completely different culture is a challenge. It is a hard work. You not only adopting the person, you are adopting their past, and you have to accept it. Those who truly are committed to find their roots, will never give up looking for them. You also have to accept it. You adopted the child, because you want to create better future for them, not to help them to escape from the past. What if a biological mother keeps looking for her child, and after 25 years still resides in that same village she lost him from?

Just like Saroo’s mother that we see in a brand new Garth’s Davis film ‘Lion’, which is a translation from Saroo’s birth name. Garth Davis, the director of this film, will make us all to remember his name in cinematography, as I dare to think this is his best film of his so far.

Based on a true story written by Saroo Brierley, Lion touches our hearts. We feel sad, we feel happy, we love, we hate, we live through Saroo’s journey together with film characters. His story is tough, truly inspirational and completely incredible. Davis shows us all facets of struggle people face in India, completing it with his powerful statement at the end of the movie. 80,000 kids get lost in India every year. That’s an unreal number. Makes us think we live in heaven.

Saroo, very well played by brilliant Dev Patel, went through all stages lost child can possibly go through. This story has two sides, from the one hand, Saroo was extremely lucky to be adopted by amazing Australian family from Tasmania, where he lived for 20 years before he discovered his real mother. On the other hand, he lost his family and lived with this for so long, before Google Earth helped him to trace the track of his past.

Nicole Kidman was picked to feature as his foster mum in this film, by a real Saroo’s foster mum, which I found quite fascinating. No surprise, Nicole was immaculate, living through the phases of what foster mother would live through. The fact that Nicole Kidman has two adopted kids helped her to show off real emotions in Lion.

Lion is a powerful movie. It demonstrates the contrast between safe Tasmania and dark corners of India. It teaches us about what’s possible if you really are determined to turn your life around. It makes us to realise how lucky majority of us are to have roof above our heads, food in our houses and to be able to raise a perfect complete family, while others do not have this opportunity.

Are you looking for some tiny inspiration? I’d encourage you to start your New Year with booking a movie ticket to get a huge portion of shock from Saroo’s story.

Interview With Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser

Interview With Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser

Brazilian metallers Sepultura have fans bracing themselves for new album Machine Messiah. The new album is abrasive as it genius, it races along at break-neck speed and is the band’s first studio album in four years since The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart, notably making it the longest gap between studio albums in their career.

“Were getting ready for the big year ahead for us.” Says guitarist Andreas Kisser in a faint but recognisable Brazilian lilt.

An ardent family man, he has adult children, but has no plans to become a grandparent admitting, “I hope soon but not so soon, let’s wait a little bit,”.  The guitarist is also adamant the success of the band is due to his family – period.

“I couldn’t have my professional career without my family, it’s impossible,” he confesses.  “They give you such strength, such motivation.  I think it’s hard to be on the road, I’ve been away from home for many months, they are fundamental to everything I do.

“life on the road can be very dangerous if you believe in the myth. People give you everything, drugs, alcohol, the women, you can get locked into that kind of ‘fake world’ of fame.  When you go back home to your family and do your daily normal life, pick up kids from school, go to the supermarket you go back and you balance your life.”

The new album marks a welcome return for the band, together with producer Jens Borgen it’s been a labour of love, but also one of the best experiences with Kisser citing “It’s one of our best recorded albums”.

“I’m happy, really happy with the result,” he continues.  “The recording with Jens Borgen the producer, he did an amazing job with us. Everybody in the band really stepped up.  We wanted to explore our musicianship at the highest level, so we really prepared ourselves physically and mentally to face the challenge ahead of us.  We had a great time in Sweden recording the album, it was a lot of work of course but we enjoyed it.

“I think it’s our most musical album with instrumental songs. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long trying to incorporate the guitar more connected to the songs.  We’re excited with the release; so far, people who have heard the album have positive reactions.”

The band have been playing a new tune off the album last year, I Am the Enemy, although quite a different direction for the band it still retains that raw Sepultura edge.

I Am the Enemy isn’t a very traditional Sepultura song,” he explains.  “It’s very straight forward. It was one of the last songs we wrote for the album, that kind of explosiveness, it came out cool. We played the song live last year and the reaction was great.  I think being faced with the whole running order of the album, it creates an atmosphere to Machine Messiah, with our other single Phantom Self, they are both different types of songs.

“The new album is very different from anything we did before. Brazil’s so big, from North to South.  You have so many different rhythms and different characteristics, people, food, music – everything. On Roots we explored a lot of different aspects of Brazilian music, percussive rhythms from the North East, Samba and instruments from the South of Brazil.  On the track Phantom Self we have Maracatu beats from the North East.  We’ve got violins from Tunisia which Producer Jens thought would be a cool element.  It’s added so many possibilities to my guitar playing like the connection between the orchestra and the guitar leads.”

The band’s private life with the departure of founding members Max & Igor Cavalera is almost as poignant to fans as the new album, especially with the duo announcing a Roots reunion, Kisser maintains he doesn’t “have much contact” while saying their relationship is “professional”. “We have to discuss stuff like matters for merchandising or music releases the label wants to put out.

“I don’t know,” he continues.   “It’s so happy with Sepultura now, with everything that we achieved the difficult times, the great times. We have been enjoying ourselves for thirty years, it’s a great momentum.  I really like to enjoy the moment, of course I’d love to do another solo album hopefully I’ll have time to do something soon with that, I’d love to do a Blues album.

“It’s such a privilege to part of a band like Sepultura. We travel the world every year, thirty-two years of a career and seventy-six countries so far, we’ve played. The fans that is motivation enough.”

The boys set keen to return back to our neck of the woods sometime this year in support of the world tour, after the last outing at Auckland’s Studio it’s a thought Kisser seems optimistic about.

“Yeah, we hope in the second half of the year to go to your region. We have nothing planned yet.  We have the tour with Kreator in Europe, February and March, and then we go to the States to play with Testament & Prong.  Hopefully in September we’ll go to Australia & New Zealand, we really hope to have the dates announced soon, were definitely working on it.”